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Fashion Police

Golfer Can Swing Personal Style on the Links

May 26, 2000|JEANNINE STEIN

Dear Fashion Police: I am taking golf lessons and have just been told that to play on a course I need to "dress like a golfer." This idea has me waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I am 48 and wobble between a size 18 and 16, but expect to shrink slowly back into a 12 over the next year. Solid-color knit tops look terrible on me. Despite my size, I have my own style, which does not include looking like any golfer I've ever seen. I doubt I could enjoy playing golf if I will always feel like I'm wearing a costume. Any suggestions?

--TEED OFF

Dear Teed: It saddens us to hear that there is so much peer pressure among your fellow golfers that it's keeping you awake at night. We always thought of golf as an amiable, low-key sport, not one where players are taken aside on the fairway and strong-armed into wearing pink plaid pants.

Golf is no longer restricted to the upper-crust, exclusive country club set. Everyone's playing, including rockers, Hollywood agents and regular Joes, and we're certain they bring their own style to the game. Somehow we're having trouble picturing Alice Cooper (a big golfer) slipping into Kelly green slacks and a V-neck sweater before he hits the links.

Of course, there could be a dress code where you're playing, which you should comply with. But we doubt it gets too specific about styles of clothes. So in general ignore this "dress like a golfer" edict, because it's almost meaningless. Choose comfortable clothes that allow you to move--but aren't inappropriate. In other words, don't show up for your lesson in a business suit and high heels, or in shorts and a tank top.

Consider capris, which are a good compromise between shorts and pants. Even pleated trousers are fine for a golf course, if those are more your style. Jeans might not be your most comfortable option, since they don't always allow for a lot of movement. And frankly, we think they're a little too casual for golf. You should show respect for your fellow players.

As for tops, knits aren't your only choice. A short-sleeve or sleeveless button-down top in cotton or linen is a stylish choice, and you can wear it tucked in or left out. Accessorize with neckerchiefs and hats if you like.

Natural fibers such as cotton and linen will keep you cooler outdoors, but a little bit of added stretch will give you more mobility. Lighter colors also tend to be cooler, but if you want to wear primary hues or navy or black, go ahead.

Don't think you have to only shop at golf stores. Try Lane Bryant for some of the styles we've discussed (they're in most malls, or at http://www.lanebryant.com). There's also a Web site called Styleclick.com (http://www.styleclick.com or [877] 789-5325) with a separate golf shop, where we found capris up to size 16 and cute cotton tops. Try these two large-size clothing Web sites for more great-looking sportswear: http://www.bigwomen.com ([877] 644-1995), and http://www.loveyourpeaches.com ([888] 274-7499).

One more thing we want to add: You say that despite your size, you have your own style. Excuse us, but does personal style suddenly stop when one reaches a certain size? And what size would that be? Style has nothing to do with numbers on a garment, and when people understand that, the world will be such a beautiful place.

From the Fashion Police Blotter: There's more help from our readers for "I See France," the woman searching for bikini underwear because her thongs were peeking out over her low-slung pants:

"Please send your reader to the nearest T.J. Maxx, where they have all kinds of European-cut thongs, which ride lower and are usually much prettier than U.S. models. Those low-cut, hip-hugging jeans and pants are usually quite snug, and panty lines are not a pretty sight. As a baseball mom who spends hours each week sitting on a bleacher, I can attest that no one sees my undies."

And this: "I too am a committed thong wearer and also wear hip-hugger pants. Most of the inexpensive underwear that you'll find at Target or Marshall's or places like that actually do tend to sit low down on the hips and don't stick out of your pants. You don't have to give up the thong, and you can get them in really cool colors. If you do get stuck with panties that reach your bellybutton, just fold them down. And if you put a little stitch in each side, they don't look bunchy and won't ride up."

Another reader offered help for our "What's Sarong With That" sarong wearer: "There is another simple way to wear a sarong. Wrap the fabric tightly above the waist and fold or roll it down until it feels secure. Wear it with a longer A-line shirt and sandals and it looks great and stays secure all day--honest. I'm six months pregnant, and my sarongs have been a godsend!"

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Write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to socalliving@latimes.com.

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